Viana, Inés G, Artika, Suci Rahmadani, Moreira-Saporiti, Agustín and Teichberg, Mirta ORCID: (2022) Limited trait responses of a tropical seagrass to the combination of increasing pCO2 and warming. Journal of Experimental Botany . DOI

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Understanding species-specific trait responses under future global change scenarios is of importance for conservation efforts and to make informed decisions within management projects. The combined and single effects of seawater acidification and warmer average temperature were investigated by means of the trait responses of Cymodocea serrulata, a tropical seagrass, under experimental conditions. After a 35 d exposure period, biochemical, morphological, and photo-physiological trait responses were measured. Overall, biochemical traits mildly responded under the individual exposure to high temperature and increasing pCO2 values. The response of C. serrulata was limited to a decrease in %C and an increase in the sucrose content in the rhizome under the high temperature treatment, 32 °C. This suggests that this temperature was lower than the maximum tolerance limit for this species. Increasing pCO2 levels increased %C in the rhizome, and also showed a significant increase in leaf δ13C values. The effects of all treatments were sublethal; however, small changes in their traits could affect the ecosystem services they provide. In particular, changes in tissue carbon concentrations may affect carbon storage capacity, one key ecosystem service. The simultaneous study of different types of trait responses contributes to establish a holistic framework of seagrass ecosystem health under climate change.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Ecology > Algae and Seagrass Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 0022-0957
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2022 07:13
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 07:13

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